A sequel to Deadly Premonition, Swery65’s cult classic love letter to Twin Peaks, was announced earlier today during Nintendo’s positively overflowing Nintendo Direct stream. Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise is coming to Nintendo Switch sometime in 2020, and is being developed by TOYBOX Inc., a Tokyo development studio founded in 2012 by Harvest Moon designer Yasuhiro Wada and Deadly Premonition producer Tomio Kanazawa.
Swery65 confirmed on Twitter that he is writing and directing Deadly Premonition 2, despite the fact that his own studio, White Owls Inc., isn’t involved in the game’s production.
As seen in the above trailer, Deadly Premonition 2 takes place in Boston circa 2019, and stars a new protagonist: FBI Agent Aaliyah Davis. While investigating a serial killer cold case file, Davis “opens a door to the unknown,” though the metaphorical nature of said door is indeterminate. The game also jumps back in time by 14 years, returning players to the immaculately polished shoes of FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan, the hero of the first game. Special Agent York is investigating some mysterious happenings in New Orleans, though how that connects to Davis’ modern case is unclear.
For reasons that I can’t explain without spoiling the first game, one can tell from this trailer that York’s New Orleans case should take place before the events of the original game. However, 14 years prior to 2019 would mean that York’s story arc happens in 2005, and while that does predate the first game’s 2010 release, Deadly Premonition had a distinctly 90s flair that doesn’t exactly jive with 2010. This could have more to do with the game’s deep allusions to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, rather than any strong indication of when the story took place, but the extended ending added in 2013’s Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut may account for all of these variables. Again, spoilers.
Speaking of the first game, today’s Nintendo Direct also announced that Deadly Premonition is now available on the Nintendo Switch eShop as Deadly Premonition: Origins. It was unclear from the announcement whether Origins is a port of the Director’s Cut, or if its a straight copy of the 2010 original.
If you’ve never played it, Deadly Premonition is a deeply weird and unique game that was far ahead of its time in some key ways. It’s an open-world detective game, but it’s also a third-person horror shooter. It deeply integrates survival mechanics like hunger, tiredness, and an in-game clock, but focuses on them almost wholly during mundane investigation activities, rather than during the actual survival horror stuff.
Deadly Premonition is a game that’s willing to let you have a fifteen minute conversation with an elderly hotel owner at the beginning of every in-game day, just because. It’s a game where a not-insignificant portion of your time is spent driving from one location to another, in real time, while Special Agent York talks to an unseen, unheard entity named “Zach” about classic films and punk music. It is an acutely obtuse game that asks a lot of the player and is sometimes flawed because of it, in a way that isn’t all that different from the first two seasons of Twin Peaks. But if you’re a patient person whose willing to put up with a lot for something that’s truly special, there’s nothing else like it out there.